Luis Rubiales stands by decision to relieve Julen Lopetegui of Spain duties

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"I always knew we could do it", a shaman who started his own Russian Federation team fan club in Siberia told the national Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"What started badly, ended badly", wrote Spanish daily Marca.

Much to everyone's surprise, the 2010 champions had been knocked out in the first knockout round by the tournament's lowest-ranked side.

Even the team's commitment was questioned after Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion, who missed one of the penalties in the shootout, had said players didn't watch numerous World Cup games in part because they interfered with the siesta, Spain's traditional nap time.

"It would be wrong to say that (coach Julen Lopetegui's) dismissal was fundamental", he said.

France won their match 4-3, having only had the ball 41 percent of the time and if that sounds counter-intuitive then Uruguay's last-16 win over Portugal was even more remarkable.

"It's my last match with the national team", said Iniesta, who left the Luzhniki Stadium pitch in tears. While the decision, taken by federation president, Luis Rubiales, had the backing of large sections of the media and influential former players like Xavi Hernandez it unsettled the players who had worked with Lopetegui for two years.

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I mean, we've been so fortunate to have a squad of players whose character and spirit has formed an incredible bond. The manager has come in with great ideas, great ideas in the way he wants us to play.

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Andres Iniesta confirmed his worldwide retirement immediately after the game and Gerard Pique is set to join him.

"As the coach I'm the one responsible for what happened", Hierro said.

"In sport, the best don't always win". Like all Spaniards, we had high hopes and dreams and we are sad that we couldn't do it for the millions of people who were following the game back home.

Iniesta is widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

Defender Gerard Pique may also have played his final match with Spain.

The move was criticised by many as Lopetegui was not the first manager to accept a club job before the World Cup while working with a national team. He had already made a mistake in one of the team's warm-up matches before the tournament.

"What I have clear is that I'm proud of the way Hierro and his staff have behaved".

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